Avalanche Course - AST 1 & AST Advanced

AST Level 1 Course

                                  

 

YES strongly advise Avalanche awareness (AST Courses) as a necessity training course for anyone skiing, boarding and traveling in the mountains during the winter. Weather, terrain, snow pack and other mountain factors are constantly changing and its important to understand the safety and precautions you need to take if venturing out of bounds.

AST Level 1 Course

This is a course for those just branching out from downhill skiing and wishing to acquire appropriate entry level safety skills, proper instruction in uphill skinning techniques, assessing mountain environments and of course, the fun of powder snow skiing.

Learning outcome: AST Level 1 certificate and developed understanding of winter hazards with increased confidence in decision making in avalanche terrain.  

AST 1 Course Objectives:

At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Understanding the basics of avalanche formation and release.
  • Identifying avalanche terrain.
  • Planning and carrying out a trip.
  • Using the Avaluator™ as a decision-making tool
  • Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale (ATES)
  • Avalanche Danger Ratings and Avalanche Bulletins
  • Evaluating snowpack stability
  • Mountain weather forecasting
  • Risk management plan
  • Using appropriate travel techniques in avalanche terrain.
  • Carrying out a companion  rescue

Location: Whistler Blackcomb Backcountry

Duration: 2.5 days

Difficulty: Moderate to challenging

Terrain: Simple to Challenging

Total Distance: approx. 8-11 km. per day

Elevation Gain: approx. 650m + per day

                                     

(Photo: YES Student 2016 AST Level 2 course)

AST Advanced Course

The natural path for AST 1 skiers and boarders looking for a course to build a solid foundation for safe mountain knowledge would be to take the AST Advanced. The course take's it one step high with an emphasis on snow profile interpretation and recording, terrain rating, route selection and advance companion rescue. Note that this is not the full AST Level 2 as that requires more classroom time and our guests have shown a strong preference for more on-snow experience.

As apart of the YES AST Advanced course you will experience the back country like you never have before! You will spend on evening under the stars camped outside in snow caves. This is a true Whistler experience you will never forget. 

AST Advanced Course Objectives

At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Use the Avaluator2.0 as a filtering tool to determine when additional planning and travel techniques are required to travel safely.
  • Be familiar with Avalanche Danger Ratings verification techniques for personal use on a local scale. 
  • Be familiar with the Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale (ATES) technical model as a means to develop personal, local terrain ratings.
  • Use routefinding to take advantage of nuances in terrain to manage personal risk.
  • Use travel techniques in avalanche terrain appropriate to the avalanche conditions.
  • Proficiently carry out a companion rescue.
  • Understand the limits of their training.

Location: Whistler Blackcomb Backcountry

Duration: 4.5 days

Difficulty: Moderate to challenging

Terrain: Simple to Challenging

Total Distance: approx. 8-11 km. per day

Elevation Gain: approx. 650m + per day

Our AST courses are operated in partnership by the professional team at Coast mountain guides - http://www.coastmountainguides.com